Philadelphia 76ers: Montrezl Harrell signing was mistake

Montrezl Harrell, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Montrezl Harrell, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers have recently found their way back to the .500 mark in regard to their record. At 7-7, the Sixers have been just as reliant on Joel Embiid as in any other season in his tenure. Of course, a team will rely on its best player but the team made moves in the offseason to not go down the same road with Embiid again. Montrezl Harrell in particular has been tasked with being a backup center option for the club. The first few weeks have revealed that the Sixers signing Montrezl Harrell has been a mistake due to the team’s lack of size. .

Joel Embiid’s monster weekend against the Atlanta Hawks and Utah Jazz brought me to this realization. Embiid scored a combined 112 points to ensure the victories. The worst part is that the Sixers needed those performances from Joel Embiid to win those games. The team is lacking scoring currently due to James Harden’s injury and needs more to support the big man. The team has lacked the rebounding prowess all season now.

The Sixers need better center play behind Joel Embiid

The Sixers signed Montrezl Harrell after watching Paul Reed play competently in the playoffs with little real experience. Doc Rivers is to thank for that scenario because of his connection to Harrell. Reed and Harrell do too many similar things on the court to help the team for both to be on the roster. It was not a money issue for the Sixers to get another undersized high-motor power forward or center. Harrell, earning roughly $2.5 million this season, has more money on the Sixers’ books compared to Paul Reed’s deal worth roughly $1.8 million.

Harrell stands at 6-foot-7. Reed stands at 6-foot-9. Paul Reed is the team’s second-tallest player. Joel Embiid is the lone big man in the middle. Generally speaking, teams with playoff success usually employ two competent 7-footers. The Sixers have the cream of the crop in 7-footers with Embiid. Another center, even an average one, would add some more stability to a team that is lacking in trees that crowd the paint. Another 7-footer allows for Embiid to get an appropriate amount of minutes to remain fresh come playoff time.

The fit of Harrell hasn’t been natural. As emphasized, his role was held by Paul Reed. Both players both helped contribute to the Sixers’ poor rebounding numbers. The team is currently averaging the 29th most amount of rebounds per game in the NBA at 39 rebounds. There are many reasons for the lack of rebounding on the Sixers. The biggest glaring one is size and neither Harrell nor Reed provide that size.

It sounds like a total Harrell bashing as a player but it is certainly not. The reality of the Sixers is that the team is undersized. To add another undersized big man option was puzzling. Almost like putting a hat on a hat. The team still has a roster spot open as only 14 players are under contract. Now, how much better would it have been if Harrell’s spot was used on something that the Sixers didn’t have but needed and the team still had an open roster spot? The conclusion to this problem is most likely to ride out the season with the guys they have outside of whoever is brought on with the 15th and final roster spot.

The games the Philadelphia 76ers have played have shown that team needs more size. Watching the games, it can be seen that it should have been either Harrell or Reed for the spot. Simply put, Harrell is taking up a roster spot that could’ve been optimized to strengthen team weaknesses. The main thing is how to find the path for this team to reach its full potential and the Montrezl Harrell experiment is not the way.

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